What’s on your New Year’s resolutions list? Is it eating healthier, or cutting down on screen time? Maybe you want to take more walks or learn how to juggle. Well, how about getting a better night’s sleep?
The new year is the time for improving your habits and setting goals, so don’t leave your sleep out of the equation! A good night’s rest is crucial for having the energy to achieve all your other goals, and adjusting your sleep habits. Strive for these five sleep goals in 2020 and you’ll be feeling more rested every morning, and have the energy to take on all the other feats you want to accomplish this year.
1. Get up at the same time every day
It can be tempting to doze the day away on your days off, but when Sunday night comes around again and you’re left tossing and turning all night, those sleepy afternoons just won’t seem worth it. Challenge yourself to get up at the same time every day, whether you have work or not. Waking and sleeping at the same time every day makes it much easier to fall asleep, and helps your body make the most of the sleep it’s getting. Those first few early morning weekends will be tough, but trust us, your body will thank you in the long run!
2. Say goodbye to screens
You might think you’re helping yourself relax and unwind when you spend an hour binge-watching “Friends” before laying down your head to sleep, but screen time can have a seriously negative effect on your sleep health.
Checking your phone, watching TV, or surfing the net within 30 minutes of going to bed can all make it harder to fall asleep, and lead to more disrupted sleep once you get there. This is because the blue light emitted by all these screens can suppress melatonin production and keep your mind active late into the night. So, ditch the laptops and cell phones and replace your fancy digital clock with a vintage analog one (yes, even the screen on your clock can harm your sleep). After a few weeks of keeping your bedroom a screen-free zone, you’ll be sleeping better than ever.
3. Set a regular routine
Your brain is a creature of habit – even without being told, your mind will start to make connections when you repeat the same activities over and over. If you have trouble getting to sleep at a reasonable time, try setting up a routine that tells your body it’s time to sleep. Maybe that includes a few minutes of yoga or a glass of warm milk as you read a book – whatever you decide on, if you do it the same way, at the same time every night, your brain will start to get the message that it’s time to sleep.
4. Ditch the drinks
Alcohol and caffeine are definite no-nos before bedtime. The dangers of caffeine when you’re trying to sleep should be self-evident, but some people swear by their evening “night cap.” Alcohol before bed can reduce your time spent in deep (or REM) sleep. So you might be able to get to sleep faster, but you won’t be sleeping as deeply, and you’ll wake up feeling less rested than you would otherwise.
It’s a good idea to limit your intake of ANY fluids for about an hour or two before bedtime, and be sure to go to the bathroom before you get too comfortable in bed. If you’re getting up to use the toilet every other hour you’re just not going to feel as rested when morning comes around.
5. Get a new mattress
Good sleep starts with a solid foundation, and without a comfortable mattress that supports you just right, you can forget about a good night’s rest, no matter how many goals you set. The Better Sleep Bureau says your mattress should be replaced every five to seven years, so if your current mattress is becoming a little worse for wear, it might be time to invest in a comfy, new mattress that supports your sleep every night.
A good mattress should provide plenty of support for your neck and back, while making you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. There is no one “right” type of mattress, so come try them all out and see what works best for you. We have a great selection of every kind of mattress you can imagine, from king to twin, plush to firm, pillowtop to memory foam. The choice is yours! And when you invest in a great new mattress from our store, all your 2020 sleep goals will feel that much closer.
Angela, Your Sleep Expert